U TURN
1997, Sony Repertory, 125 min, France/USA, Dir: Oliver Stone

On his way to Las Vegas to pay off a debt, Bobby Cooper’s (Sean Penn) car breaks down near the small town of Superior, Arizona, where he becomes entangled with a femme fatale (Jennifer Lopez) and her husband (Nick Nolte) and everything that can go wrong, does. Based the John Ridley novel Stray Dogs, this riveting neo-noir thriller features a top-notch cast including Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Voight, Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes.


INHERENT VICE
2014, Warner Bros., 148 min, USA, Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon neo-noir novel owes as much to Cheech & Chong as to THE BIG SLEEP. Stoner private eye Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix, in an industrial-strength mullet) winds his way through three interrelated cases in 1970 Los Angeles after an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) turns up at his door. Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone and Martin Short round out the amazing cast. “Anderson has superbly captured Pynchon’s laconic, gently surreal tone, which permeates the film as thoroughly as the hazy SoCal light of Robert Elswit’s gorgeous 35mm cinematography.” – Scott Foundas, Variety


TWO LOVERS
2008, Magnolia Pictures, 108 min, USA, Dir: James Gray

Director James Gray reunites with Joaquin Phoenix (star of the director's THE YARDS and WE OWN THE NIGHT) for a romantic drama about the impetuousness of desire vs. the comfort of love. Phoenix plays Leonard, an emotionally wounded man torn between two women: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family's dry-cleaning business. Leonard becomes deeply infatuated with Michelle at the same time that mounting pressure from his family pushes him toward committing to Sandra, forcing him into an impossible decision. With Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, John Ortiz and Moni Moshonov.


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